Stan Lee aside, just about every comic cameo is weird as hell. Seeing faces you recognise outside of the realm of comics suddenly in one is jarring, in the same way seeing a teacher or boss anywhere other than a weekday is weird.
This is doubly true when said cameo turns out to be particularly surreal – be it through a strange plot, them being characterised weirdly, or even just them being totally at odds with the comic they are starring in. The intrigue an unusual cameo can pull to a comic often means writers are strong-armed into putting folks into a story that aren’t necessarily appropriate – a habit especially bad in the older ages of comics, but is still fairly present now.
That said, even the most peculiar of cameos manages to be interesting, if only to see how people like Stalin and Penn and Teller fit into the world of superheroes (which, admittedly, isn’t well).
Between the leaders of countries, TV stars and dead icons, these cameos prove that just because you can put someone in a comic, doesn’t mean you should.
10. The Cast of Saturday Night Live in Spider-Man Marvel Team Up
“You know who would be a great team-up for Spiderman? The cast of a comedy skit show” said nobody, approximately ever.
Surprisingly, however, the vast majority of the comic is pretty good – the plot makes sense, everyone’s in character, and Stan Lee and Bill Murray get to exist in the same comic, which is unexpectedly delightful.
That said, there’s also a whole heap of weirdness on practically every page. At one point, Parker witnesses a man be attacked in the projection booth, but tries to write it off as part of the show – despite the fact that this is happening in the place behind the audience. It’s fairly standard stuff for an older comic, but combine that with a surreal cameo, and the whole thing seems like a nightmare you’d get from watching too much TV.
It’s also a little strange to see the cast of SNL taking out thugs – not that a young Murray doesn’t look totally capable of being in a fight, but if some comedy sketch writers can take out these henchmen, then it makes Spider-Man doing so a fair bit less impressive. Then again, maybe being a superhero is just easier than we all thought.